Georg Brunstam appointed president and CEO of Hexpol
Hexpol AB (publ) has appointed Georg Brunstam as president and CEO of Hexpol AB (publ) effective 20 November 2020. Georg Brunstam is currently chairman of the Board for Hexpol AB (publ) and had previously been President and CEO for Hexpol AB (publ) 2007-2017.
Chinese tyre import share rises above 50% in declining European market
China accounted for more than half of all passenger car and light truck (PCLT) tyres entering the European Union and the United Kingdom for the first time during the first eight months of 2020. Comparatively, the then 28 EU nations imported 105 million passenger car and light truck (PCLT) tyres from outside the region in the same period of 2019.* The major impact on tyre demand of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as varying degrees of disrupted production, led to the EU-27 and UK together importing 21 million fewer tyres in the corresponding period of 2020, a reduction of 20 per cent. The Eurostat and HMRC data was compiled by leading data analyst Astutus Research.
With its newly-developed global customer service system, ZC Rubber says it offers tyre dealers an online platform that serves as a “one-stop solution for tyre information, marketing support and after-sales service.” The system covers all ZC Rubber brands, including Westlake, Goodride, Chaoyang, Trazano, Arisun and Yartu.
Good news in a year where this has been in short supply: Michelin reports that global demand for its tyres “picked up more strongly than expected” in the third quarter of 2020 after falling steeply in the second quarter. That said, demand is still below where it was this time last year.
Continental: Rubber Technologies achieves 15% EBIT margin in Q3 2020
Continental has reported its Q3 2020 financial results, and these are better than many expected. Although quarterly consolidated sales of 10.295 billion euros were 7.3 per cent below the 11.303 billion euros reported in Q3 2019, the adjusted EBIT margin of 8.1 per cent was 2.5 per cent higher. The Rubber Technologies division, which includes Continental’s tyre business, was crucial to this success.
Automechanika Birmingham postponed until June 2022
Automechanika Birmingham 2021 has been postponed. The organisers, Messe Frankfurt UK, said the leading exhibition for the automotive aftermarket would return on 7-9 June 2022. The company’s Frankfurt headquarters had already announced the postponement of Automechanika Frankfurt to September 2021. The decision to postpone the UK event follows several months of discussion with exhibitors and host venue the NEC.
German asset management firm Aurelius Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA is acquiring the GKN Wheels & Structures business from GKN. The transaction is expected to complete in November and is conditional on receiving anti-trust approval. Following the deal’s completion, GKN Wheels & Structures will gain an as-yet-undisclosed new name.
Investors facilitating Tyrata’s customer qualification & further development
Tyre sensor and data management company Tyrata Inc. says it has raised US$2.9 million in financing from global investors, and will use these funds to complete customer qualification of its IntelliTread Drive-Over System (DOS), establish high-volume manufacturing in global markets and speed development of the Tyrata Internal Tread Sensor product line.
After postponing the event scheduled for November 2020, the organiser of EIMA International is planning to hold its agricultural machinery trade fair in Bologna next February. But not all exhibitors are convinced this is the right decision. In light of the ongoing coronavirus situation, tyre maker BKT has chosen not to take part in the show and instead will promote its products via digital media.
Test World, the Millbrook-owned tyre and vehicle testing facility based in Northern Finland, is poised for re-opening with a full programme of outdoor winter testing as the first snowfalls signal the onset of winter. Located 300km north of the Arctic Circle, Test World’s outdoor facilities include a 20km track at its Airport Proving Ground and 80km of track at the Mellatracks Proving Ground.
Changing European vehicle mix ‘vital to meet 2020-21 EU emissions goals’ – Scope
Europe’s car makers are mostly on track to meet more stringent 2020-21 EU carbon emission targets, helped by a subsidy-fuelled boom in electric vehicle sales, pooled carbon-dioxide emissions credits and incremental gains in conventional engine technology. European credit ratings agency Scope Ratings says that the chances of any of original equipment manufacturers incurring heavy fines for missing the EU’s carbon-dioxide target of 95g/km for 2020-21 are low, even though not all OEMs will meet the regulatory threshold for average fleet emissions.
Michelin accused of Indonesia natural rubber deforestation “cover-up”
Campaign group Mighty Earth has published a report alleging that Michelin “covered up industrial-scale deforestation of over 2,500 hectares of rainforest in the run-up to the launch of its flagship ‘eco-friendly’ sustainable natural rubber joint venture project in Sumatra, Indonesia”. The project is currently seeking an additional $120 million in investment from green financiers. Michelin’s joint-venture Indonesia natural rubber project Royal Lestari Utama (RLU) robustly denied the allegations.
Michelin has entered into a new 2.5-billion-euro revolving credit facility with a group of 19 banks. The agreement, signed by Compagnie Générale des Établissements Michelin and the banks on 16 October, replaces the existing 1.5-billion-euro facility dated 12 July 2011 and amended in 2012 and 2014. Michelin describes the new facility as a “back-up facility” that, jointly with the company’s euro commercial paper program, has been increased to take the group’s growth into account.
A Layered Journey – Bridgestone’s new rubber sustainability campaign
Bridgestone has announced a new campaign that invites its partners to participate in building a stronger society. Called ‘A Layered Journey’, the campaign highlights the ways Bridgestone is incorporating sustainability in its value chain with a focus upon its commitment to sustainable procurement of natural rubber.
The Board of Directors of the European Tyre and Rubber Manufactures’ Association has reconfirmed Franco Annunziato as its president for the next three years. Bridgestone’s vice president and senior advisor was elected for the next three years from 1 January 2021. The ETRMA said the appointment was “a strong signal of commitment and continuity to face the actual macroeconomic scenario.” Joan Vicenç Durán, from Consorcio Nacional de Industriales del Caucho, was also elected vice president at the meeting for the same three-year mandate.